The time - four to six pm, the place - Nintendo World Store, the event - meet and greet with Nintendo’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Reggie Fils-Aime. Some of the GoNintendo crew got together to journey into the depths of New York City to hunt down the gaming mecca. After our car ride with some heavy NYC traffic, we managed to make our way to the store by quarter to three. Here is where we would stand for over two hours just waiting to get inside the store, and catch a glimpse of everyone’s favorite ass kicker.
There also happened to be a Metroid Prime Hunters tourney taking place at the same time, so the line was riddled with eager bounty hunters looking to take home a yet to be announced prize. The air was filled with the sounds of missiles flying, death screams, and of course, the curses of gamers all throughout the line as they practiced before the big showdown. Just infront of us a group of DS gamers gathered to test their skills against one another in an attempt to size up the competition.
While there were a handful of gamers strutting their stuff, many others were patiently waiting in line for a chance to get some face time with Reggie. One of those patient people sat quietly up against the wall of the Nintendo World Store sketching away in his notepad. Pencils, and markers of all different colors were whirling about the canvas, but we had no idea what he was so furiously working on. After some time passed, the image started to get a little clearer. He wanted to have something a little unique to get autographed by Mr. Fils-Aime.
As we waited in line we came to knew the people surrounding us. The angry Metroid Prime Hunter fiend behind us, constantly bombarding his DS (and girlfriend for that matter) with a stream of curses that could make your ears bleed. In front we had our flash group of DS gamers, and our budding artist. We also met a very friendly mother waiting in line with her two sons. As the time went on we came to know the family a little better, and enjoyed some very funny conversations in line. It was something to keep us busy and calm the nerves while we waited to meet the big guy himself. Eventually the Nintendo World Store staff came by and whisked away the MPH contestants to inside the store. The people entering the tourney were told that they would not be allowed to meet with Reggie, they had to make a choice of playing or gaming. Little did they know that Reggie couldn’t resist meeting all of them. Once the gamers entered the front doors, the rest of us stood outside as we caught our first glimpse of Reggie.
Even though the staff told the DS tourney entrants that they wouldn’t be meeting Reggie, that wasn’t the case. Many of them got the chance to meet and greet with the giant once they had either lost in the contest, or moved on to qualify in the last round. Reggie shook hands, smiled, and chatted up each and every one of them that approached. He didn’t push anyone away, didn’t move people along to hear out the next person. He genuinely showed interest in what you are saying, and took the time to answer any questions you had. As the contest started to get down to the finals we were finally allowed to shuffle inside. Now instead of standing on the streets of NYC, we got to stand and wait on the NWS staircase…at least it was a change of view!
As we waited in line, the MPH contest wrapped up. The lucky winner of the contest got to take on Reggie in a game of MPH, and then he was presented with a laser-etched MPH statue. You know Reggie isn’t the best MPH gamer, but it is nice to see him sit down and play a couple games with the winner. He shook the winner’s hand, took a picture with the guy, and then headed back to the GBA Bar to sit back down and pick up the autographs where he left off.
One of the best parts of the day was a chance encounter with one of our readers. As we were waiting in line to meet Reggie, someone happened to be coming down the staircase. He approached me and asked, “Are you Rawmeat?!” After a quick handshake with myself and the rest of the staff, we found out that we were talking with IllMasta who had been with us waaaay back from our old blog site! We got to check out the shwag he got signed, one of which is a GREAT personalized autograph from Reggie. I had to put the full sized picture on the site so you could zoom in and see what Reggie wrote for IllMasta’s autograph, it is too good. Click the thumb to check it out. Huge thanks to IllMasta for letting us talk with him, and grab a pic.
While watched the contest come to a close, and chatted with one of our readers we kept creeping up to the front of the line. Once we finally reached the head of the line we got to check out another awesome piece of shwag. As we were waiting in line we were handed raffle tickets for a chance to win a special edition Metroid Prime Hunters DS. This baby was nice, almost made me forget about the DS lite! Right before we met Reggie the number was pulled. Unfortunately we did not win, but we did get to snap some pictures of the DS and it’s winner spending some QT with Reggie.
The time had come, I was first in line. It had been about 4 hours since we arrived in the city up until now, but no matter how long everyone was waiting, we all knew it was worth it. As the person in front of me left the GBA Bar, I was given the go ahead to step up and meet with the big guy. As I started to walk towards him he yelled out to the entire store, “Hey, REALLY nice shirt, where can I get myself one of those!?”. I got up to him, shook his hand, and told him that if he wanted one for himself he would have to shell out some cash. The meeting with Reggie went extremely well. I discussed how we were in line during the Miyamoto signing. Unfortunately he didn’t remember us from the Miyamoto event, but he apologized for it, and said it was extremely hard to remember since SOOOO many people had showed up that day. I then got into talking about GoNintendo which is when I was in for a big surprise. Reggie shocked me when he told me that he had actually checked out the site a number of times! I had told him how things with the site were going, and how it lead into our staff going to E3 and being invited to the media briefing. This lead into a conversation about shmoozing at E3, where I told Reggie we would have to meet up for some drinks during E3. He said that after the conference he just might need a few! Finally, I shook his hand, and took away with me a big smile, a signed autograph, and some great pictures.
The next lucky greeter was none other then Nicky Hill. Nicky had a great moment with Reggie that centered around his autograph signing. After discussing the website, handing him a business card, and some general BS about the name change from Revo to Wii, Reggie started to make out an autograph to Reggie. Nicky caught Reggie starting to sign the autograph with my name instead of Nicky’s since we had just finished our meeting. Nicky interjected and told him that he was signing the wrong name, at which point Reggie looked both ways, and slyly slid the mistake into the garbage. Nicky took this chance to tell Reggie not to worry about his mistake, he understood that he (Reggie) was nervous meeting us bigtime GoNintendo staffers. Of course, Reggie let out a laugh at this comment…shook Nicky’s hand, and sent him on his way with a correctly signed autograph.
JohnTheSavage made his way up the table, and informed Reggie he was also part of the GoNintendo team. Reggie thought it was great a lot of the team made it out to the event, and was humbled by us showing our support as a website. John also brought up the point of meeting for drinks out in California, where Reggie took the chance to make a joke and let John know that he already had previous engagements with the GoNintendo team.
Last up was Lube, the craziest member of the team. He had us all biting our nails worrying about what he would do. Luckily Lube only attacked Reggie on the Twilight Princess front. Lube tried to squeeze some Twilight Princess release date info out of the Nintendo guru, but Reggie wasn’t letting anything go. After a few prying questions Lube gave up, and had some regular happy banter with Reggie. At least Lube tried!
The entire staff couldn’t help but walk around the store with huge smiles on our face. While Reggie was still meeting with the rest of the people in line, we wandered around the store, took some pics of the place, and just talked back and forth about our meeting with the Regginator. If you just met the man, you would be afraid that he would kick your ass. While he could very well do that any second he wanted, he instead is a very welcoming, friendly person. He listens intently to what you say, and is interested in hearing your viewpoints. He really does enjoy meeting the Nintendo fans, it is very easy to see that just by spending a few moments with him. Once six rolled around Reggie had to make his way out of the store, but he was nice enough to hang around and answer some questions from the crowd. Almost every questoin that was asked was met with the answer “you will find out in 10 days!” referring to E3. He played a game of cat and mouse with all the Wii questions simply because Nintendo wants to keep all a secret until the media briefing. After the final question Reggie finally decided to leave us with one little secret. He informed the entire crowd that Nintendo is working on a new racing game for the Wii. He made the point of telling everyone that the game is controlled with the core controller (Wiimote) and it would be used in a way that no one would expect. A completely new experience for racing games. On that note, the big man started to make his way out of the store. He was so nice to the point that he couldn’t even turn down picture requests on the way out of the store. He even said himself that he just couldn’t say no. Luckily on the way out we managed to snag a group photo with Reggie, where we all got the chance to thank him once again, and tell him that we hoped to meet up at E3. He shared the same sentiments with us, and on that note…he had left.
The entire event was a great experience, from the fans, to the staff, and of course Reggie himself. We have a ton of great pictures from the event, way too many to put on the site. I have put together a Flickr photo set where you can check out ALL the pics we took today. Before you click that link, make sure to check out the scans of our autographs below. Reggie even signed mine with a big Go Nintendo at the top! The GoNintendo staff would like to thank Reggie, the Nintendo World Store Staff, IllMasta for taking time with us. We also want to say we had a great time with all the people we met in line, and hope to meet up with you guys somehow, someway once again.